Marinated chicken tikka masala espetada (with dried apricots)

    Marinated chicken tikka masala espetada (with dried apricots)

    Chunky boneless chicken thighs are the most tender cut for these espetadas. The charred apricots add a welcome extra layer of soft texture and sweetness for a memorable curried espetada that will delight any crowd.


    500 ml (2 cups) plain full cream yoghurt 60 ml (1/4 cup) fresh lemon juice
    30 ml (2 tablespoons) tomato paste
    30 ml (2 tablespoons) vegetable oil
    a knob of fresh ginger, peeled & finely grated 3 cloves garlic, peeled & finely grated
    10 ml (2 teaspoons) ground coriander
    10 ml (2 teaspoons) ground cumin
    10 ml (2 teaspoons) ground turmeric
    30 ml (2 tablespoons) garam masala
    7,5 ml (1,5 teaspoons) salt
    2,5 ml (1/2 teaspoon) freshly ground black pepper 1,5 kg boneless skinless chicken thighs
    250 g soft dried Turkish apricots
    6-8 large or 12 medium sosatie sticks/skewers
    a handful fresh coriander leaves, to serve
    a few fresh lemon wedges, to serve


    1. In a large glass/ceramic/plastic bowl, mix the yoghurt, lemon juice, tomato paste, oil, ginger, garlic, coriander, cumin, turmeric, garam masala, salt & pepper.
    2. Add the boneless chicken thighs to the marinade (if the thighs are very large, cut them in half ) and mix well to cover all over. Cover the bowl with a tight fitting lid or plastic wrap and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 3 hours or up to 24 hours.
    3. Bring the meat to room temperature by leaving it on the kitchen counter for an hour, and pre-heat your oven to 220 C (or get a fire ready to braai). Using clean hands, skewer the marinated thighs on your skewer sticks, folding them in half where necessary (don’t leave longer strands overhanging), with a few apricots inbetween.
    4. Roast in the oven at 220 C for about 25 minutes (place them on a rack fitted over a lined baking tray), or braai over medium hot coals, turning frequently to prevent burning. The apricots and marinade will blacken here and there – that’s perfect. Cook until just done, then scatter with fresh coriander and serve hot.

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